Siemens Features Advantage™ Navigator at IBCON 2014 — and goes CTA Platinum!

Adnan Akbari, Senior Manager Strategic Marketing, at Siemens Industry, was genuinely excited about Advantage™ Navigator, the energy management system performance platform that Siemens featured at the IBcon 2014. Advantage™ Navigator offers a number of energy analytics that take existing Siemens technologies and services to the next level by giving Siemens customers distinct business advantages — making costs easier to predict and delivering key insights into the total energy and operational performance of their buildings — locally, or worldwide. Adnan sees the IoT Titans: Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and the others, entry into the HVAC market as a logical move, because they too, have significant technology plays to make in the building space. Siemens also announced their Platinum Sponsorship for the 2014 ControlTrends Awards.

Advantage Navigator’s customizable suite of applications helps you monitor building system performance, energy demand, and energy supply more effectively and efficiently. It provides transparency, giving your team and the Siemens experts who support you laser-sharp insight to make critical improvements. And using a central platform, you can maintain total control over a single building, a campus, or your entire portfolio.

Belimo Free Webinar Today at 11:00AM EST: Introduction to Retrofitting Globe Valves

BelimoRetrofit Introduction to Retrofitting Globe Valves: In this free Belimo webinar, you will gain an understanding of how to retrofit globe valves. The New Generation Globe Valve Actuators incorporate not only strength, but flexibility too. Engineered to suit a broad range of HVAC applications, these new actuators and retrofit linkages are highly adaptable making selection, installation and service hassle-free.

Click here to join!

Smart Building Story: Bank of America Plaza Atlanta — Atlanta’s Architectural Masterpiece

This ControlTrends’ Smart Building Story takes an in-depth look at the Bank of America Plaza Atlanta — Atlanta’s Architectural Masterpiece and the remarkable open systems success delivered by the Stromquist Company and John Smith, Honeywell WEBs-AX Systems Integrator with Mallory & Evans Service. Parkway Realty’s Alan Winfrey explains the course of action taken and the reason why they chose Honeywell when their existing controls system reached its end-of-life and needed the best open-systems upgrade available — one that offered the owners and tenants the greatest value and most flexible solution. The massive first phase, which integrated the base building functions: chiller plant, cooling towers, and occupied floor space with 400 VAV boxes, is complete, and now Alan’s department monitors and optimizes the building system performance — and anticipate problems using data-rich dashboards. Parkway Realty, who has recently won Atlanta’s E3 Award for water-saving initiatives, actively shares building energy and water consumption information with their tenants to modify behavior and help tenants understand how important they are in energy and water conservation.

Internet of Things Privacy Summit — Top Guns Meet in Silicon Valley

trust_the_internet2The one-day TRUSTe Powering Trust Event, Internet of Things Privacy Summit, was held this week at the Rosewood Hotel, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, CA. The IoT Privacy Summit reads like a crash course attempt to catch government regulators up with the advanced privacy (and security) issues that the collection of big data, rampant emerging mobile technologies, and the after-the-tech style of regulating pose. One of the top agenda items was The Big Debate, which asked the million-dollar question, “Can We Have Privacy and the Internet of Things?” — Or, are they just plain mutually exclusive? TRUSTed Smart Grid offers an interesting solution to protect customer energy usage data (CEUD) for home security management systems, smart thermostats, smart appliances, energy management apps, and other services. Watch IoT Privacy Summit videos.

IoT Summit Part One

IoT Summit Part Two

IoT Summit Part Three

Iot Summit Part Four

IT Business Edge’s kachinaShaw-63 Kachina Shaw digs deeper: The TRUST Internet of Things Privacy Summit was held in Silicon Valley. The event brings together analysts, policy makers and technologists at a time when “regulators at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Commission, and other organizations are already looking at the privacy issues related to the Internet of Things.” Of course, all of those entities and more have been doing so for some time, but we have reached the point at which governmental regulation of this set of technologies will likely never catch up to its development pace, and industry controls are moving forward more quickly in an attempt to balance consumers’ demands and concerns with product and network providers’ market goals.

The data privacy management firm putting on the summit, TRUSTe, is building its reputation in the Internet of Things (IoT) space where, along with the Future of Privacy Forum think tank, it recently introduced the TRUSTed Smart Grid, a set of analyses and certifications for companies seeking to differentiate their smart devices and highlight their data collection and usage practices.

The summit event, which you can catch live streaming, is tackling a “big three” set of questions around privacy and the IoT: Big Data, mobile and regulation. The final discussion will attempt to answer the overarching question: “Can We Have Privacy and the Internet of Things?”

Since we clearly will have the IoT, it looks like the question to be answered will continue to be, can we have privacy? When TRUSTe performed consumer research earlier this year around the topic, it found that 59 percent of respondents said they did in fact know that smart devices like in-vehicle navigation systems and TVs could gather data about them. That number seems low and slightly surprising. Less surprising is the fact that only 22 percent of those folks feel the devices’ benefits would outweigh privacy concerns, and only 14 percent said they would be comfortable with advertisers having access to that data. Security vendor Fortinet found similar attitudes in its recent survey: Of 1,600 responding consumers, 70 percent said they were very concerned or somewhat concerned about seeing their sensitive info stolen through connected devices, according to a piece on The VAR Guy.

EPA Launches the 2014 National Building Competition — See the List of Competing Teams!

EnergyStarIt’s finally here! Last week U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the 2014 National Building Competition. In addition to individual building competitors, this year’s battle features a new special theme: “Team Challenge!” At the end of the competition period, FEMP will recognize the highest-performing federal government building that participates in EPA’s 2014 competition.

EPA provides a suite of free technical and communication resources on the competition website that you can leverage for your own energy management efforts. Use these free tools, read stories from past competition winners, and follow #ESNBC for inspiration throughout the year. If you have any questions about the competition or using Portfolio Manager to measure, track, and report your building’s monthly energy consumption, please contact the Energy Star HelpDesk.

Let the games begin!

List of Competing Teams

Intelligent Buildings: Start Simple with an IB Advisory Starter Kit, but Get Started!

IntelligentBuildings1 ControlTrends met up with Tom Shircliff, Co-founder, Intelligent Buildings, LLC at IBcon 2014. Intelligent Buildings, LLC is premiere Buildings Solution Provider with one of the most impressive client lists in the smart real estate industry. Tom’s message was clear enough: Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting the solution process started. To facilitate the get-started process, Intelligent Buildings has developed several well-scaled Advisory Starter Kits to make the first step — towards achieving the customer’s specific project solution, easier. Take a good look at some great ideas from Intelligent Buildings, LLC, the team considered by many to be the best in the business.

IntelligentBuildings®, LLC is a Smart Real Estate professional services company. We provide planning and implementation management of next generation strategy for new building projects, existing portfolio optimization and smart community development. Additionally, we consult with future-minded solution providers who seek to be more attuned to owner’s next generation strategy, including product development and go to market strategy.

We are a recognized thought leader with numerous industry firsts including consultation on the award winning “Smartest Building in America”, conception and development of a Clinton Global Initiative public private partnership, program management for the largest energy analytics project in the North America and development of national smart building standards for both the US and Canadian federal governments.

IntelligentBuildingsWe have developed a consistent and a proven technology approach for developing new projects and optimizing existing portfolios that respects the stakeholders and traditional process while not compromising on the realities of today’s building technology and opportunities of the information age.

Intelligent Buildings has worked extensively throughout the US and Canada in over 50 different cities along with selected other international work and market research in The Middle East, Asia and Central America.

Headquartered in Charlotte, NC and with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Washington, DC our firm has advised on some of the world’s most ‘intelligent’ buildings and real-estate projects since 2004.

The Other Robots are Coming — But the SPIN Robot (Sanborn Platform for Indoor Mapping) is Already Here!

SPINThe SPIN Robot services are available NOW. Contact Sharad Oberoi and Team Sanborn for more information. The Sanborn Platform for Indoor Mapping (SPIN) is a semi-autonomous mobile robotic platform designed exclusively for indoor mapping applications. By utilizing the recent advances made in a variety of 3D technologies including laser scanning, photogrammetry and computer vision, and the state-of-the-art approaches used in robotics, SPIN is a leap forward in accurately mapping the building interiors. SPIN is a compact, easy-to-operate and self-navigating system which generates pre-registered spatial data almost in real-time. Sanborn also provides geospatial products, location based services, and solutions to clients in the business, engineering, government, natural resources, telecommunications, and utilities sectors.

Therese Sullivan’s Sound Bites, Surprises and Solid Advice from the Smart Building Integrator Summit (SBIS) at IBcon 2014

Therese_Face1Building Context’s Therese Sullivan, the eyes and ears of Silicon Valley, wraps up her thoughts about the 2014 Realcomm/IBcon with piercing insight: Big-brand tech companies and Rock Star-caliber personalities in real estate management and data security came calling on the buildings industry at the Smart Building Integrator Summit (SBIS) on June 17th, the day before IBcon 2014 opened in Las Vegas. Their common message was that open-architected, interoperable building automation systems (BAS) are at the nucleus of the next phase of human-to-machine connectivity. There was recognition that the commercial real estate technology industry is, in important respects, way out ahead when it comes to merging information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT). However, the next phase is going to require greater collaboration between IT and BAS technology and service providers to stay out ahead of security threats and legislation, as well as to meet the expectations of occupants who want their workplaces to keep pace with their home automation systems.

In the ‘Owners’ panel discussion, the audience heard both a corporate campus and urban retail/office/residential multi-use perspective on what customers want from system integrators. The panel included Darrell Smith, Director of Energy and Building Technology for Microsoft’s Real Estate and Facilities, and Mike Smith, VP of Building Technology Services Group of Forest City Enterprises, as well as Kelly Millsaps of Related. A common theme here was that System Integrators should work to earn a place at the decision-making table as a trusted advisor. Having a narrow view that emphasizes one brand of building system due to a sales channel relationship won’t serve to build such a relationship. “The SI’s role is to make us look at the challenge through a different lens,” said Microsoft’s Darrel Smith. Moderator Ken Sinclair had many heads nodding in agreement with his comment that one sign of customer trust is that the SI is allowed to be involved in the definition of the Request for Proposal for the project.

Paul Oswald, CEO, Environmental Systems Inc. (ESI) and John Petze, Principal, SkyFoundry, brought some realism to the topic of data-driven building decision-making. Oswald covered the topic of hiring, training and retaining great people to do the multifaceted job of system integration. He explained that the fastest, most secure route to an enduring systems integration company was to become a learning organization. With IT, control, mechanical, electrical, security, etc. technologies rapidly advancing and client business models and organizational structures always changing, integrators need to be always ready to adapt and learn new things. Skills in application development, data analysis, energy aren’t enough, staff needs to know how to sell and manage project too. A constant investment in people is required, with outreach and active mentoring of the next generation, to bring new talent up the ladder of learning because it takes a while to gain all those skills.

John Petze presented on the topic of databases, analytics (predictive & prescriptive), visualization and advanced integration. He reminded the audience that the biggest effort in setting up a data analytics project has been the task of interpreting the naming of source data and tagging it appropriately. Notably, Project Haystack, an effort to bring together industry leaders into an open source community to solve that tagging challenge together won the Digie award for Best Intelligent Building Technology Innovation. Petze also offered two pieces of actionable advice: 1) start with a shallow-dive project and 2) you don’t have to connect to live data to derive value from analytics. When evaluating all the solutions now marketed in the building analytics category, he advised to compare 1) whether the data processing occurs in the cloud or on premise 2) whether programmability was available at the customer or project level and 3) what protocols and connectivity are supported, that is, does the system get the data you want to work with.

Billy Rios led the session on cyber security. He has one of the most impressive resumes among the white-hat hackers who work to discover and plug vulnerabilities before the black hats arrive. Rios oversaw the setup of a decoy honeypot by systems integration firm McKenney’s in their training center. Deployment vulnerabilities far outnumber product engineering vulnerabilities according to Rios. His prescription for avoiding these is 1) lots of employee training 2) logging more of the data traffic to and from the BMS so there is a record to audit and study and 3) better access control over BMS resources.

The last session of the summit brought six big names in commercial building real estate technology to the stage – some new to our industry: Yardi, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft and Tridium. RealComm’s Jim Young moderated and pulled one quotable sound bite after another from each. With both companies in the ‘Wintel” computing near-monopoly present, there was on-stage consensus that we’re at another inflection point much like when PC technology eclipsed the minicomputer/mainframe. The big surprise came from Intel who announced the intention to play a big role in the next chapter of the building automation industry’s evolution. Rick Lisa, Group Sales Director of Intel’s Worldwide IoT Business Development Group, pointed to partnerships with air-conditioning multinational Daikon who wants to “give every air handler on the roof an integrated Intel-supplied brain” and Dell who aims to enter the systems integration service business.

All together the sessions that comprised the Smart Building Integrator Summit pointed to exciting times to come in our industry.

Happy 4th of July! Did You Know…? Disney Fireworks & Celebration Included

4th of July Did you know: John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826–the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Cylon Energy Inc. Acquires American Auto-Matrix

CylonJune 30, 2014 – American Auto-Matrix was acquired by Cylon Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Cylon Controls Ltd., based in Manchester, New Hampshire. Cylon Controls is one of the largest independent control manufacturers in Europe and a leading developer of energy management systems with a global distribution network. The acquisition marks over 60 combined years of technological development and product implementation. Read More.

More Information: The Cylon Energy Inc. Acquires American Auto-Matrix, is to invest €7 million in Dublin-based energy management equipment manufacturer Cylon Controls. The investment is being made through the ESB Novusmodus Fund, which provides growth capital and management support to companies working in cleatech.

Cylon, which manufacturers building energy management systems, is one of the largest independent building control providers in Europe. It also has offices in Asia, the Middle East and the US. The investment will be partly used to finance of the acquisition of the smart buildings solutions firm American Auto-Matrix.

As part of the transaction, Greencoat Capital’s Bertrand Gautier and Paul O’Donnell will be joining the Cylon board. Cylon Controls was a University College Dublin spin-out company, established in 1985 by Sean Giblin.

“ESB’s investment in Cylon Controls is a win-win formula which sees the company benefit from our technical expertise, investment support and utility endorsement and positions ESB at the forefront of progressive energy utilities striving for a sustainable energy future,” said ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty